PHOTOS/VIDEO: Rafael Nadal and Team Europe at Laver Cup 2019 / DAY 2
• Day matches
• Rafael Nadal bt. Milos Raonic 6-3 7-6(1)
Q. Before we get into obviously the match, I just want to say thank you from the bottom of our hearts from all the people here in Geneva and around the world. There was a lot of reasons for you not to come to Laver Cup. The fact that you have, thank you very much. It was fantastic of you.
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, no, thanks. Well, thank you. Thank you for your words, but honestly, be here for me is a very positive energy, no? It's amazing to be around a great team, and the crowd is just unreal every single day.
So many, many thanks for the support.
Q. Milos gave you a good run for your money in that opening set. You managed to kind of steal it away from him.
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, I feel very lucky in the first set, honestly, no? Have been, I think, unlucky first set for him. I think he deserved that first set, for sure.
Later in the match I think I started to play better, a little bit high percentage on the serves and started moving myself a little bit better, no? In the end I think I played a very good tiebreak with some good shots.
So very happy to help Team Europe to be I think 7-3 now. It's great news for us and I hope for you too. The crowd, we are in Europe, so you support us. So many, many thanks.
Q. I have just got to ask you one last question, because I know you have to go off and get ready for your doubles. We are going to get more of you tonight. A bit of competition to see who's the better coach on Team Europe at the moment: Yourself or Roger. You have both been helping each other out. At the moment I think everybody feels you're going to make a better coach.
RAFAEL NADAL: Oh, yeah, much better, yeah. (Laughter.)
No, I think it's a great team that everybody tries to help each other. It's a great team spirit. That's why we were able to achieve two Laver Cups, the two previous editions.
Yeah, remain a lot of work to do, so we need to be together. We need to help each other. We have great coaches, Bjorn and Thomas, and the rest of the team is supporting very much.
So many thanks. Thank you.
• Tie Break and Interview
• R. Nadal/S. Tsitsipas vs. J. Sock/N. Kyrgios 4-6 6-3 6-10
Q. Rafa, were you finally able to reach a consensus on the sign language? What do you think was the main reason why you could not keep the momentum from the second set into the super-tiebreaker?
RAFAEL NADAL: Why? No, I think we keep the momentum. I think honestly we were close. Even if the score was 9-4 at some point, between 4-All and 8-4, we lost couple of points that could go both ways.
No, no, I think we played with the right intensity. We played with the right energy that moments. Just we have good players in front that they want to win, too, and they are good. They are talented. They know how to play doubles.
That's it. Just congratulate them.
Q. And sign language?
RAFAEL NADAL: The what?
RAFAEL NADAL: Oh, yeah. We make it final easy.
Q. Rafa, earlier on Roger said that you saved his day by coaching him, and we see him coaching you guys. How do you feel about this? Can you explain a little bit these exchanges that you together have, which is, I mean, something special in the Laver Cup, I suppose?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, I think everybody helps each other. No, no, all the players helps in some ways, no?
Of course with Roger, we have a good relationship. I think we know each other very well, so all the matches that we played against each other, we know the things that we can do or not.
So at some point we can have an idea about the things that can help to change the dynamic of the match if it's not going the right way.
So for me it's great to have him telling me things, because sometimes him, Bj�rn, Thomas, any player, because honestly, things from outside sometimes are more clear than from inside. It's good to be around a great team, and I am enjoying.
Q. To Bj�rn and also to Rafa. I was a bit surprised that you picked Rafa to play today when it's only two points, the singles. So he may play again of course tomorrow? But I would like to know if you, Rafa, you were surprised you had to play two matches and each of them was just two points instead of three.
CAPTAIN BJ�RN BORG: Well, I can start. Regarding the singles, it was very important for Rafa to play today. Regarding the doubles, I think it was very important for him to play today too.
I think they played a great doubles. It was very close to win the doubles. But the schedule for tomorrow, I think you know who is going to play who or not?
Q. Not yet. If you tell us, it will be nice.
CAPTAIN BJ�RN BORG: Am I allowed?
Q. It is already midnight.
CAPTAIN BJ�RN BORG: Yeah, because Rafa and Roger play 12:00. They play doubles tomorrow. I think it was good, because Roger played last night doubles, and Rafa is playing doubles tonight, so I think both of them to play one doubles was very important.
So they're going to start the doubles 12:00 tomorrow. So that's why Rafa played doubles tonight, too.
Q. Just going back to some of the conversations you and Roger and all have had with the other players on changes of ends, the clip yesterday with you and Roger and Fabio has created a lot of attention and amusement, as well, online. How much have you actually enjoyed that aspect, seeing a different side of the sport and contributing in that way?
RAFAEL NADAL: I like this sport in general, so I like to play, and I like to support from outside. People who follow sport knows that I normally, when I do the things, I try to do it with the highest intensity possible.
So if I'm here, I'm not here just to play tennis. I'm here to help the team in all the ways. So that's it. I am just trying this. I cannot tell you about the conversation with Fabio yesterday, because I really don't remember (smiling). Honestly, that's like this.
During the matches, a lot of things happens, and you go there, you feel excited to go there. And to tell what you see from outside, you believe that maybe you can help. Maybe not. Maybe you create confusion. But with everybody from the team, we do what we feel in that moment is best for the team. And we do with our heart.
I think we have a great team spirit, and we are happy to go to sleep today with these points, two points of advantage. That's all, knowing that tomorrow is going to be a super-hard day. But here we are to try our best.
Q. Stefanos, I just want to ask you, what's it been like with this team playing with Rafa tonight? Obviously he's a great player. It's the first time you got a chance to play with him. What was that like for you? And Rafa, what's it like playing doubles when you have to play singles right before and such a quick turnaround as opposed to having that 90-minute gap? I know you only have to play a super-tiebreak instead of a full third set, but how difficult is that to turn around?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: Well, I have to say that that kind of opened my mind a little bit, having all these great human beings in my team, trying to know them a little bit better. The chemistry is great. We are actually feeling each other really well.
Doubles was pretty good today, despite the loss. I really felt connected with Rafa. I felt that we both fought hard and really wanted to get away with a victory. Didn't happen.
They played pretty well. They got a little bit lucky. I actually enjoy every single day going out on the court, having all of them support me, having me support them.
I feel like it's different eye, different view of this sport we are used to playing individually. It kind of gives it a new perspective and a fresh, kind of like an evolution, I will call it.
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, for me personally, actually is better to play back to back than wait for 90 minutes. For the body in general is better to keep going than stop and cool down and then try to warm up again the body, because sometimes it's not warming up anymore (smiling).
That's it. I really have fun playing this competition. It's a lot of energy. Is true that I think we played a good doubles. For me was a little bit hard because honestly I don't remember the last day, last time that I played doubles (smiling).
Because of the tour, because of my personal goals, because of my body, I am not allowed to play many times in doubles, so I just try to be ready. When I have the chance to play doubles, I really enjoy a lot to play doubles. And with Stefanos was a great experience, was a lot of positive energy out there. We had some fun. We created some good moments and we were close.
Finally, we lost. That's fine. We played against great players, as I said before. Well done to them, and tomorrow going to be another day that we need to be 100% ready.